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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eugene W. Brown, PhD (Michigan State University)
Description: This book covers the structure and function of the human musculoskeletal system and principles of mechanics applied to this system as they relate to the performance of sport. In the second part of this text, instrumentation and techniques for recording the kinematics and kinetics of this system are described.
Purpose: The purpose is to promote the practical learning by undergraduate students of the scientific discipline of sports biomechanics. This is a worthy objective for students studying in various areas of the sport sciences. The content is sufficient to meet the author's objectives. However, I think that the approach could be more dynamic in the layout of the text and in the provision of examples.
Audience: According to the author, the audience is undergraduate exercise science students. I agree, with some reservation about the mathematics required and the lack of practical application in Part 2. I think that the author is sufficiently credible for the subject matter of this text.
Features: There are a sufficient number of illustrations that are average in appearance. However, the single-column layout of the text, limited use of white space around the text, and limited variation in font size does not attract the typical undergraduate student. The uniqueness of this text is that it presents some topics at a level of understanding above that normally seen in undergraduate texts of sport biomechanics. This, however, may create some difficulty in that many of the students it intends to reach may not have had calculus. There are many texts on the market that are similar to this one. Thus, uniqueness of any text, whether it is in content or layout becomes important in sales. Generally, I don't think there is a level of uniqueness in this text that will entice faculty in sports biomechanics to require it for their students any more than other existing texts.
Assessment: The text provides broad coverage of most essential topics in sports biomechanics. However, it lacks a sufficient number of specific examples. I would suggest including problems that are worked out, either in the text or accompanying workbook. There is an absence of information on visual evaluation techniques, which is a primary tool in the evaluation of the mechanics of performance. Other texts similar to this have included separate chapters on the application of sports biomechanics concepts pertinent to popular sports. There is a problem with this approach in that only a limited number of sports or sports skills can be selected. The addition of variation in formatting, as previously noted, and the addition of a second color would make the text more attractive. Reading about techniques for recording and analyzing sports movements may not be interesting or practical for the typical undergraduate student. The addition of a laboratory/workbook in which students actually record and measure might make this material more practical and interesting.